Lars and the Real Girl
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Sometimes you find love where you'd least expect it. Just ask Lars (Ryan Gosling), a sweet but quirky guy who thinks he's found the girl of his dreams in a life-sized doll named Bianca. Lars is completely content with his artificial girlfriend, but when he develops feelings for Margo, an attractive co-worker, Lars finds himself lost in a hilariously unique love triangle, hoping to somehow discover the real meaning of true love. Offbeat and endearing, this romantic comedy takes a fresh look at dating and relationships and dares to ask the question: What's so wrong with being happy?
To some, Lars and the Real Girl will play as comedy; to others, tragedy. Though Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock) allows Lars Lindstrom (a mustachioed Ryan Gosling, miles away from Half Nelson) a happy ending, the road is far from smooth. This rumpled Midwesterner couldn't be more miserable. His brother, Gus (Paul Schneider, All the Real Girls), and sister-in-law, Karin (Emily Mortimer, Lovely and Amazing), fall over themselves to cheer him up, but Lars cannot be moved; hes been like that since childhood. Then a porn-addicted co-worker hips him to the lifelike Real Doll. The next thing everyone knows, Lars has a new girlfriend named Bianca. She's from Brazil, she's shy, and she uses a wheelchair. She's also made of silicon. (Because Lars is a devout Christian, hanky-panky is out of the question.) Since he's finally emerging from his shell, his doctor, Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson), advises Gus and Karin to play along with the "delusion." Soon the whole town, including Margo (Kelli Garner), who harbors a not-so-secret crush on her officemate, gets in on the action, forcing Lars to rejoin the human race or crawl deeper into psychosis. Written by Six Feet Under's Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl is built around such a preposterous premise, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Fortunately, the actors play it straight. Gosling does his best to make Lars sympathetic, but Schneider and Mortimer, fully convincing in their concern, are the true heart and soul of this odd little film. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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It was a bit slow to get started. But once it did... wow. It was really interesting to watch the character development of Lars and the rest of the town reacting to the girlfriend. I even got misty eyed at the end.
Once again we see how a non-human object really illustrates the human condition.